The old canal in Warnemunde near Rostock

Hotels in Rostock, Germany

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It was thanks to herring and beer that Rostock became a member of the powerful Hanseatic League, and the same are driving the economy today albeit with a larger contribution from hotels in Rostock, Germany and similar tourist facilities which cater to visiting cruise passengers onward-bound to Berlin.

Rostock through the years

Rostock will celebrate its 800th year of founding in 2018. This northeast German city is also home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Rostock, which in turn will celebrate its 600th year in 2019.

Rostock’s old-gotten wealth from the days of the Hanseatic League can be seen in the city’s distinctive red-bricked and pastel-coloured Gothic architecture. Wander around the New Market Square originally built in the 13th century and significantly improved upon five centuries later. Follow the Kropelinerstrasse to the east, the main pedestrian district, and indulge in some retail therapy. When deciding where to stay in Rostcock; within five minutes of the market square you can find a delightful bed and breakfast in Rostock, Germany that offers great location and, albeit proximity to the bustle of downtown, a restful night’s sleep.

 The St. Mary's Church and the Convent of St. Catherine, also from 13th century, are a handful of survivors from WWII bombings, along with 15th- and 16th century gabled houses that flank the New Market Square. The ruined-but-restored St. Petri's Church, which marks the Old Market, may not lead you back in time but its steep tower, a familiar landmark of the city, offers striking views of the red-roofed cityscape and the Baltic Sea.

Rostock Baltic Sea Port

Traditionally Germany's largest Baltic port which saw its heyday in the 14th century, Rostock today is the busiest German cruise and ferry port for passengers bound to Scandinavia, particularly Finland, Denmark and Sweden, and several Baltic states like Latvia and Estonia.

Rostock's maritime legacy is very palpable in the seaside resort of Warnemunde 10 miles to the north where the Hanse Sail is celebrated annually; August is the time when cruise ships, schooners, yachts, ferries and other tall ships take to the seas by the hundreds. Sailors and sailing enthusiasts flock by the million – 1.5 million as of last count – and line the banks of the Alter Strom or Old Channel to see ships glide by and join the others at the mouth of the Warnow River (which empties into the Baltic Sea).

But any other day is a good day to drop anchor for nostalgic cafes and fresh seafood, to say nothing of superb sandy beaches that stretch for about 10 miles. The beaches, the most popular of which is the two-mile West Beach lined with cafes, restaurants, shops and an assortment of accommodation in Rostock, Germany, is designated by the European Union as Blue Flag (for cleanliness).